New Canaan Boys Basketball Falls to Wilton 62-47


From convincing to confounding. Just two days removed from a nearly flawless blowout win over Bridgeport Central, the New Canaan Rams dug themselves into an early hole Wednesday night at Wilton’s Zeoli Field House, ultimately falling to the Warriors 62-47.

New Canaan (4-14, 3-11 FCIAC) couldn’t get things going offensively in the early going, trailing 14-4 after one quarter and 29-12 at the half.  Wilton built a 20 point lead early in the second half, as the Warriors completely out-worked the Rams on the offensive glass, leading to multiple second-chance scores.

The Rams fought back, eventually pulling to within 49-41 with just under 4 minutes left to play in the fourth. Wilton, however, reeled off an 8-1 run to put the game away, earning a huge win in terms of FCIAC post-season positioning and foiling New Canaan’s hopes of playing spoiler.

“The story of our season is consistency,” Evans told “Tonight’s a microcosm of our season. We just can’t do it for a whole game. I was really happy with the third quarter and to weather that storm and get it back to eight—and then it went away.”

Much of the credit for New Canaan’s inconsistency has to go to Wilton’s defensive execution. The Warriors (11-6, 8-5 FCIAC)—now tied with Westhill for fifth place in the conference with three games left—put constant pressure on New Canaan star Tyler Sweeney. Junior Jack Wood was tasked with one duty by Warriors head coach Joel Geriak—stay in Sweeney’s shirt the whole game.

“That was our game plan tonight,” Geriak said. “Tyler’s a phenomenal player, an All-FCIAC player. We tried to make him work for everything. We tried to take him away as best we could.”

Even on an off night—for him—Sweeney was able to score a team-high 15 points on the night, helping spur New Canaan’s second half comeback. The junior swingman was countered by Wilton senior captain Jack Williams, who netted 25 points including 15 in the second half.

Wilton’s biggest basket of the game came from Matt Kronenberg. After a Sweeney three-pointer pulled the Rams to within 8, the junior point guard drove the lane and converted a circus layup, getting fouled in the process. After converting the ensuing free throw, Wilton had a 52-41 lead and the momentum back in its possession

“Matt drove, attacked the rim and finished it,” Geriak said. “He wasn’t having a good night shooting tonight but he still does things to help our team win.”

Wilton, coming off a tough 73-65 loss to Staples on Monday, came out of the gate on fire, scoring seven of the game’s first nine points. Williams scored eight of the Warriors 14 points in the first quarter, helped in large part by eight Wilton offensive rebounds in the opening stanza.

The Warriors opened up an 18-6 lead early in the second quarter before New Canaan found an alternate source of scoring in junior Michael Svagdis, as Wilton continued to hound Sweeney throughout the first half. Svagdis scored all eight of the Rams’ points in the second quarter en route to a career-best total of 14 to keep New Canaan in the game.

“Mike Svagdis came out of his shell,” Evans said. “He had a great game and it’s great for him because he put more work in than anyone else in the offseason, and you love to see a kid have a game like that.”

After Wilton went up 34-14 in the early minutes of the second half, New Canaan started chipping away. A bank shot from sophomore point guard Nick Crovatto, a three from Svagdis, a put-back from Sweeney and a free throw from junior Austin Bell made it a four-possession game with New Canaan trailing 34-22 with 3:53 to go in the third quarter.

Wilton answered with an 11-2 run to go back up 45-24 before New Canaan junior Charlie Grow and Bell hit back-to-back three’s to close out the third with the Rams trailing 45-30.

The Rams carried that momentum into the fourth, scoring 11 of the first 15 points of the quarter. Kronenberg’s ‘and-one’ halted New Canaan’s rally, however, and the Warriors were able to hold off the Rams the rest of the way to a hard-fought 62-47 win.

“They’ve [New Canaan] played teams tough this year,” Geriak said. “Every game that I’ve seen scouting them they’ve played teams close. They’re close to being what I think they can be.”

New Canaan48181747
Top scorers:

NC - Tyler Sweeney, 15; Michael Svagdis, 14; Nick Crovatto, 5; Austin Bell, 4
W - Jack Williams, 25; Matt Kronenberg, 14; Drew Connolly, 13


NC - Sweeney, Bell, Grow, Svagdis
W - Williams, 3; Nick Kronenberg, 2

Fouled out: None

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